Three futures: Barbarism, UBI Warehousing or Anarchism

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Our global society is broken. Donald Trump & Brexit are symptoms along with the rise of the far right elsewhere in Europe. In an old pattern, fundamental economic crisis often results in society becoming very much more brutal for most people.  In the age of nuclear weapons this current crisis could be our last.  And with a somewhat longer countdown to disaster we are also facing climate catastrophe.

The crisis is fundamental rather than temporary because there are two underlying factors that are irreversible.  The first is the end of the era where the environmental costs of growth could be mostly discounted in the belief that dilution would neutralise pollution.  For much of the industrial revolution the poisonous effluent dumped into the ecosystem had only local severe effects with the vast oceans and atmosphere diluting the pollutants enough that global effects were minor.  This is no longer the case with climate change being the most talked about of several examples where the pollution generated by growth can no longer be absorbed without serious global consequences. 

[As this is a long read we have also made
the entire piece available on audio,
listen as you are doing the dishes 
or you can download a PDF version]

Homelessness: Shouldn't We Just Look After 'Our Own'?

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When it comes to housing, most of us just want to sort everyone out because everyone needs a home regardless of who they are. However, occasionally an issue is raised about who the homeless are:

'Are all the homeless people Irish? And if so how can the government find houses for the refugees coming into Ireland and not their own people?'

There are lots of people in high places who benefit from us thinking that the reason for homelessness in Ireland is refugees and other migrants. Or that these people are causing 'us' a big problem. It's understandable why some people believe that, after all the media spreads this message constantly, but it's just not accurate.

Towards Womens Freedom

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The WSM's collectively agreed position on women's freedom as amended by the July 2017 WSM National Conference. This position paper sits under the Sex, Gender, and Sexuality paper and does not repeat that material here.

Towards Women's Freedom

        A Workers Solidarity Movement Position Paper

 


 

Report on WSM National Conference 2016

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The Workers Solidarity Movement had our Autumn national conference in Dublin on the 22nd October. What follows is a brief report on the days proceedings.

What is WSM National Conference?

National Conference is the ultimate decision-making body for WSM members. It happens every six months and takes place over a day or two. We discuss motions on collective policy, reflect on the past six months of activity and map prospects for the next period.

Conference normally begins with reports of activity from all branches, officers and working groups.  This might cover areas like current campaigns, publications, education, engagement and administration as well as organising Dublin Anarchist Bookfair. We then move on to an open discussion of our perspectives before discussing amendments to our position papers.

We interrupted National Conference this year in order to take part in a demonstration outside the Central Bank in support of a 17 year old water charges demonstrator from Jobstown. 

This is direct democracy in action. If this appeals to you, you might consider finding out more about the WSM and what we anarchists are up to. (Not on our contact system? Self register here)

Class and Exploitation

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Collectively agreed by WSM National Conference, Oct 2016.

What this paper does
The left talks about class in ways that are often contradictory and confusing. This paper represented our collective use of class and how we understand exploitation. The scope of what we cover means that it necessarily makes sweeping generalisations but the goal is to sketch what our collective perspective is around these, not to be an educational resource in itself.

Class and Exploitation

        A Workers Solidarity Movement Position Paper

 


 

Perspectives for Struggle and Revolution

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What this Paper is
What we summarise below is what the WSM has collectively agreed are the prospects for struggle in the short and medium term both in terms of global and local capitalism but more importantly of the existing movements and struggles and those we think are coming into existence.  It should be read in conjunction with ‘The Role of the Anarchist Organisation’ which is the long term strategic view within which these short and medium terms considerations are shaped.  Fundamentally we think ‘kick it till it breaks’ leads to burnout and inactivity. Sustained organising over decades requires a collective understanding and identification of the moments of opportunity scattered through the periods of preparation and experimentation.

 

Perspectives for Struggle and Revolution

        A Workers Solidarity Movement Position Paper

 


 

Anarchism, Oppression & Exploitation - WSM position paper

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What is this?

This paper outlines how we the intersections of exploitation and oppressions and what approach the WSM takes in relation to this.  Our collective theoretical understanding is framed in the WSM Constitution’s core point of unity number 7: “We actively oppose all manifestations of prejudice within the workers' movement and society in general and we work alongside those struggling against racism, sexism, [religious] sectarianism and homophobia as a priority. We see the success of a revolution and the successful elimination of these oppressions after the revolution being determined by the building of such struggles in the pre-revolutionary period. The methods of struggle that we promote are a preparation for the running of society along anarchist and communist lines after the revolution.” 

That theory is informed by the individual and collective experiences of WSM members over 30 years and our adaption of anarchism to our local contexts which includes specific experiences of oppression and personal & historical experiences of the anti-colonial struggle in Ireland and elsewhere.  The development of this paper involved our own experiences being placed alongside our discussions of the broad set of writings and observations emerging from the anarchist and feminist study of the relationship between gender, class and race and in particular what is often referred to today as ‘Intersectionality’.

Anarchism, Oppression, and Exploitation

        A Workers Solidarity Movement Position Paper

 


 

Trump & the myth of the progressive but misled 'white working class' voters

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Once it became clear that Trump was going to become the president of the USA, my Facebook feed became cluttered with attempts to understand how that could possibly happen.  How could a white supremacist, misogynist and utterly transparent snake oil salesman accumulate so many votes?  Those on the left both inside and outside the borders of the USA struggled to understand what had happened.

[Listen to the audio of this entire article]

A common conclusion in too many of these pieces is that the left needs to reach out, and listen to the concerns of, those who voted for him as a priority.  In a similar fashion to how sections of the left evaluated Brexit, they see a working class anti-establishment rebellion in the Trump vote from what they term the ‘white working class’. They believe that component was won by Trump because it has been neglected by the left - often, they will assert, because the rest of the left was distracted by what they call identity politics.

Rojava revolution - Co-operatives & assemblies - video with commentary in the text

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As they have driven ISIS back in northern Syria / Rojava the Kurdish YPG and their allies in the SDF have won increasing visibility in western media. While such reports often mention the key role in this fight played by women in the YPJ, there is otherwise little examination of the revolution happening behind the front lines in Rojava. That revolution is why they stood and fought ISIS rather than fleeing. This can be true of a lot of alternative media coverage. In part this is due to the limited amount of information on what this revolution involves. but it’s also in part because photographs of women with guns are judged to be more striking than women workers in a co-operative bakery or a community assembly.

We’ve tried to address this imbalance somewhat, both in our coverage and through bringing a number of Kurdish and other speakers over to talk at the Dublin Anarchist Bookfair. They spoke about what is happening behind the front lines. What is it that is being constructed that so many have judged is worth going to the front lines to defend against ISIS? Our speakers this year included Erjan Ayboga author of ‘Revolution in Rojava’ and US academic Janet Biehl who has visited the region twice since the revolution to investigate what is happening on the ground.

Not wanting Apples billions? The landlords agent is not our friend

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The native Irish ruling class have long been prone to parasitical activity, enriching themselves by acting as agents of absentee landlords or today as law firms for multinationals keen to avoid and evade paying taxes.  As landlords agents that involved breaking down the doors to evict those who were literally dying of starvation.  The modern form is less hands on but the repercussions are similar, the 13 billion they don’t want to collect from Apple are the same billions whose absence has people dying on hospital trolleys.

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